Author Topic: Cleaning strategies  (Read 2720 times)

Hula Hoop

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Cleaning strategies
« on: May 01, 2018, 04:09:17 PM »
We both work FT, have 2 kids and our house seems to be constant chaos.  I feel like we spend most of our free time picking up toys and nagging to kids to put things away.  And then there's vacuuming, dusting and mopping which, honestly, doesn't get done very often.  I clean the bathrooms every weekend, we clean the kitchen in the evenings before putting kids to bed but other cleaning doesn't get done much and the place is quite dirty.

Anyone have any cleaning strategies to share kind of like a mustachian flylady?  Any tips on getting kids to put their stuff away?  Our older one (9) is getting better but the 6 year old seems to just spread her stuff around everywhere.

Cranky

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 05:37:15 PM »
Children are the agents of entropy, for sure!

But if you clean the bathrooms and kitchen regularly, your house is not”quite dirty”. It’s just messy!

You will have to nag your kids for years, so don’t stress.

lizzzi

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 07:09:18 PM »
Our house was pretty much like like what you're describing. We had two girls who were messy beyond belief, and drove me insane. To some extent, we kept the mess down by trying to insist that their "stuff" had to stay in their rooms, or be returned to their rooms after use. Their rooms were just rat holes. They were allowed to decorate them as they wished, pick their paint colors and so forth--and it still never resulted in any pride of place. My only "trick" to keeping up with things was that I threw in a load of laundry every morning before work, and dried it, folded it, and put it away every evening after work. So backed-up laundry was never too much of an issue. The "girls"--now 40 and 42--have messy homes to this day. Makes me nuts.

FWIW, I've noticed that in family constellations some people are neat and orderly, and some are not--and it goes right back to childhood. I think they're born that way.  I'm not sure there's much you can do about it, except try not to put two kids in the same bedroom if one is neat and one is messy. They'll be miserable.

lizzzi

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 07:14:45 PM »
Forgot to say that if your kitchen and bathroom are cleaned as needed, and also if you dispose of any garbage or noxious, icky things right away, your house is not dirty, it's just messy. You can get away with not dusting and vacuuming very often. Also, if you have an old sponge that you can use to "spot clean" spills or scuffs on the kitchen and bathroom floors, you'll find you don't have to mop the entire floors very often.

If your beds are made and your dishes are done, you can get away with a lot.

BeanCounter

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 07:22:21 PM »
We are a family of two working parents with two kids ages 9 and 5. My tips would be-
- if you can give them a playroom that you can shut the door to that is so helpful. We keep our toys in the basement and only pick it up every other weekend or so. There just isn’t enough time to play and clean up when we get home at 6 and the kids go to bed at 8.
-get rid of more stuff. toys, nicnacs, magazines, mail, are all clutter that you have to deal with before you can clean. If I eliminate that, I can zip through our house and have it cleaned in an hour. Just keep thinning down your stuff.
-get the kids involved, have them clear their plates and load the dishwasher, clean their bathroom, put away laundry, take out the trash etc.
-and to echo another poster- making the bed everyday helps so much. It just really gets the day started right.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 07:24:19 PM by BeanCounter »

GizmoTX

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 07:33:40 PM »
Do your children have any idea how to be organized? Is there a place for everything? This really does have to be taught.

If YOU are picking up toys, then you could try putting those toys into time-out for a week or two. Maybe your kids then earn them back with chores.

Do they make their beds, hang up clothes, help clear the table, load/unload the dishwasher? Without being reminded? They need to pulling their own load, not expecting Mom & Dad to be perpetual servants. Kids do like learning life skills & being self reliant, but you do have to teach it & expect it. You will then have more time to keep your home out of chaos. If they refuse (active or passive), then suddenly you should be "too tired or busy" to run them to activities, etc. Natural consequences.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 02:20:26 AM »
Toys left in a communal area at the end of the night get put in a garbage bag in the garage for a month. Their rooms can be a pigsty. Sounds like you have the rest under control, really.

Sibley

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 11:25:36 AM »
The only other thing that hasn't been mentioned is reduce the amount of stuff. Can't make a mess with 100 toys if you only have 50 (so, still a mess, but smaller mess).

Hula Hoop

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2018, 02:17:06 PM »
Just to answer some questions - the kids share a room which is utter chaos.  Neither of them seem to be neatniks unfortunately.  Tonight though my husband made the younger one clean up her legos so at least we can walk in their room now.  Maybe if they had their own rooms things would be neater.

I agree about less stuff but it's really tough to find the time to go through all their stuff when they aren't around to protest and get rid of stuff. 

The kids are 6 and 9 and take turns to set the table and clear the table/load the dishwasher. They also help preparing meals.

The reason I say that the house is dirty is that the floor is objectively dirty compared to the floors of my friends who hire cleaners.  It's true that the kitchen and bathroom are generally clean.

Cranky

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 11:46:58 AM »
Maybe they would go through things with you, and pick out stuff to pass on to whatever smaller children you know?

I wouldn't stress about their room, but I'd make them clean up after themselves in the common areas - "yes, you can do X, as soon as you put your stuff away..." is a pretty good motivator if you stick with it consistently. It will really turn into a habit, eventually.

If you want cleaner floors, you have to build that into your routine. The good news is that your kids aren't so little that you have to watch them every second.

I vacuum before I leave for work on Mondays and Fridays, and I wash the kitchen/hall/bathroom floors before I leave the house on Thursday. I'm a morning person, and there's no way I'm up for cleaning in the evening, but you have to find what works for you.

acroy

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 11:54:26 AM »
- reduce the clutter. as other said, start disposing of it. don't let more in the front door
Chore list:
- develop a printed chore list and post it in a common area.
- Assign both chore and areas to keep clean. i.e. kid1 gets the bedroom, kid2 gets the family room etc. They are responsible for those areas. this works awesome for us
- chores by day: dust on Monday, vacuum tues/Thurs, bathrooms wed/Sat, etc.

discipline, follow-up!

good luck!

I'm a red panda

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 12:14:48 PM »
I've found the Clutterbug.me channel on youtube to be super helpful with cleaning strategies.
Step 1 is always less stuff.
But for clutter, something interesting was to make sure to tailor the organization to the person doing the cleaning. Not everyone organizes the same way, and having really micro-organizing sets most kids up for failure.  Then they stop trying...

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 12:15:55 PM »
Mine (some overlapping those of previous), in this order of process:

1. Yes, delete from the house anything (not only kid stuff) that can go. Some people have a very, very, very hard time releasing excess stuff. My kid was one, and I felt that care of space was an important skill for his whole life, so I got him a series of (third-party covered) therapy appts for just this. He’s now totally able to release stuff (except his most precious belongings, which totally fits).

2. After the initial purge of low hanging fruit, ensure easy storage for everything. Bins/baskets/boxes work best. Kid should be able to toss stuff in with almost zero effort. Most kid stuff I designate to be in the bedroom but now that we have a bigger place, we have a basket in the living room too. (And in a low kitchen cupboard, a bin of toys for visiting kids.) After it proved necessary, food is in lino areas only, no carpets (bedroom, etc).

3. Anything left in a nondesignated area goes into a garbage bag into storage, yes. Start out with smaller times, according to the child’s age/development. One hour, work up to a month. Most learn fast to put things away.

4. Although some forumites decry my having one, I love my robot vacuum. I can talk like the kid is doing Rooma a favour vs me, haha. I say, “Okay, Roomba your room” and he knows everything needs to be off the floor, those tiny things he loves will get eaten if they’re not put away now, and he likes having a simpler space so there’s less to get ready. He’s also very happy to carry Roomba in and get it going. He loves helping Roomba. I love that I can put it on and have help while I’m doing other chores, or that I can clean up the rest, put Roomba on, walk out the door, and come back to a house “cleaned for me.”

After that, there’s so little to deal with/do, it’s great! Though now that mine is eating more often through the day (growing body) he’s required to wash counters and his dishes after each snack. We take turns cleaning the bathroom, as needed.

sisto

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2018, 05:05:10 PM »
Bins, bins, bins, and more bins. Nice easy to use open bins of varying sizes especially that have a shelf for storage or wheels to easily roll around. This is how I got my kids to keep their stuff picked up years ago. Red bin is legos, blue bin for action figures, or .... Basically just make it easy for them to pick up the stuff and it will be easier to get them to do it.

red_pill

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2018, 09:05:40 PM »
Im new to MMM, but I’m an accomplished cleaner, so here is my advice.  A few years ago I was sick of cleaning my house and was constantly looking for organizatio tips. One day I stumbled upon a great blog called Becoming Minimalist.  Total light bulb moment I read it all in a weekend. It just clicked. .  Over the next several months we got rid of easily 60 to 70 percent of our possessions.  I swear to you this is the key.  It’s a brutal proceess - way harder than I thought it would be, but I’ll never go back. Result is less desire to spend, more conscious thought before buying anything, and - most relevant to this post - WAY easier to clean.  Like I’m talking minutes.  Ask yourself this - does every item in your house have a specific home? If not- you got work to do.   You must be ruthless in your purge or you will talk yourself into keeping stuff.  It will probably take a few iterations. Start with your own stuff if your SO and kids aren’t yet on board. It will help the situation anyway and will also build momentum. Our daughter (total pack rat) actually proactively declutters her stuff now. We did that by going through toys and identifying what she could sell (she is $ motivated) or give away to less fortunate kids.  The art “treasures” are harder than toys, but we now have a big plastic pouch of stuff to keep - when it’s full we go through  it and purge - what was important to her last year isn’t as much anymore. 

Seriously, go get rid of half your stuff.  Sounds crazy but if you live like the average North American (not sure how close Europeans are in this regard) then it’s sound advice. Problem solved.  Guaranteed.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2018, 12:55:12 AM »
Yes we totally need to minimize and I've attempted this in the past but my problem is my husband and kids just can't part with anything.  Every time I want to sell or just get rid of something it becomes a big fight with my husband and also the kids to some extent.  For example, our kids are 6 and 9 but we still have a folding crib in our apartment which I want to sell but husband says "what if your sister comes to visit with her baby?"  This is unlikely to happen as we live on another continent from my sister but he just can't let things go unless they are broken, unusable and irreparable.  He is very mustachian and grew up poor.  Hates shopping and hates waste so he sees ways to repurpose everything or thinks that maybe we'll need it in future.  Same with kids toys as he grew up with no toys because his family was poor.  He sees it as incredibly wasteful to throw perfectly good toys into the trash or get rid of them and hates the consumer culture in which kids are given new toys all the time and encouraged to throw stuff out.  I did manage to persuade him to donate a couple of things to our local preschool a few years ago but it was like pulling teeth.

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2018, 01:30:03 AM »
Will selling things, even for not very much, be easier for your family members than giving or throwing them away?  Maybe find something nice that you could do if you had the money from selling excess stuff and use that as motivation?

Otherwise, how about some outside help with decluttering?  See if there is someone locally who offers a decluttering service and would work with your whole family (rather than doing it behind their backs - this would be a bad idea).  If that doesn't work, I would suggest therapy, because keeping a crib for a baby living on a different continent is approaching therapy territory.

The big breakthrough I had on keeping my place tidy was the mantra "don't put it down, put it away".  The starting point is that you need a place for everything to go where it will look tidy.  After that it's a matter of making sure the things go back to that place as soon as they are done with.

Good luck.

Hirondelle

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2018, 01:50:06 AM »
I don't have any kids yet, but not too long ago I still was one.

It sounds like decluttering some might be good for you. If you don't want to throw stuff away, just put lots of stuff they don't frequently use in a box in the basement or whatever spot you'd have for it. Hidden enough that they won't go there to get their stuff, but accessible enough that if they happen to miss a toy and ask for it, you can get it (this makes it easier to clean up as there's no "saying goodbye" involved. If stuff has been unused in the box >1 year, get rid of it.

Regarding cleaning, one way my mom tried to make this work was by making it a game for us. E.g. for Lego (or anything else consisting of a billion small pieces) just give them two boxes and make it a "who can fill his box first"-game. Sometimes we got rewarded by a popsicle or so. Also extra screen time was a good manipulation method in my childhood. We were allowed 1h of screentime/day and I was a total "The Sims" addict so I was happy to clean my room (or to just do any household chore) for an extra 20 mins of screentime.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2018, 03:34:20 AM »
Hula Hoop, it’s indeed very hard if we live with people who want to keep everything. I’ve lived with five different people this was the case for. All became excellent at releasing excess stuff. There is hope!

For your H, is there any chance he would be willing for stuff to go if there was an identified recipient in need? e.g. For the crib, a client at a woman’s shelter. If you made a list, asked three agencies which on the list their clients need, and presented the needs list to your H, would he allow them to have those? Then they’re not being wasted (while in your home they are).

Giving specifically to people who need them is one thing that makes a lot of people able to let specific items go.

Cranky

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2018, 05:19:50 AM »
I'm all in favor of not throwing useful things out so that you can buy new things, but the secret there is *not* buying new things!


Hula Hoop

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2018, 06:01:45 AM »
Cranky - same here but if you get rid of 60-70% of your possessions, as advocated on this thread, there will inevitably come a moment when you need a seldom used item like hiking boots, a rain coat for a kid or a large pot to cook some soup and you've thrown it out so you have to go buy another one.  i guess you could buy your stuff second hand but even so you're spending money and IMO being wasteful. 

Khaetra

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2018, 06:50:56 AM »
Cranky - same here but if you get rid of 60-70% of your possessions, as advocated on this thread, there will inevitably come a moment when you need a seldom used item like hiking boots, a rain coat for a kid or a large pot to cook some soup and you've thrown it out so you have to go buy another one.  i guess you could buy your stuff second hand but even so you're spending money and IMO being wasteful.

Exactly.  I have some huge pots/pans left over from my catering days and while they aren't used daily they are still used a couple times a year for parties and cooking big batches of stuff.  It would be so wasteful to ditch them.

Decluttering is always a good idea, but sometimes you might need that odd item and if you have it already then you save yourself the time and money of buying it again.

Cranky

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2018, 07:26:22 AM »
I think some people just have an awful lot of stuff!

I don't get rid of things that I only use occasionally, but they aren't clutter because I have a place to store them until needed.

My kids had loads of toys, but we only bought toys for birthdays and Christmas. We looked for things with long term play value, and when they were done, some stuff we got rid of, and some stuff we stored away and really have passed on to the grandkid. (That marble run is just as cool today as it was 25 years ago!)

But I think that people who love to shop and buy lots of "new" things have to be prepared to give up the old stuff. One end or the other has to give.

red_pill

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2018, 07:46:09 AM »
Ah, the old “we might need it, and if I get rid of I will have to buy a new one” problem coupled with a reluctant SO.  I started there, too.  Very similar psychological barriers to adopting MMM principles.  There are a few tricks to get over this.

First, start small with the low hanging fruit where it’s not a case of you might need it, and instead is a case of clearly you just never bothered to get rid of it. For us, it was finding 7 spatulas in the kitchen drawer.  We got rid of two of them - boom, progress.  Not the desired end state (we now have just 2) but better off than before. That’s important- if you try to go from chaos to to your ideal zen utopia of calm in one big purge weekend,, you won’t make it. This is a year long process. At least.

By starting small you’ll realize (and so will your SO) that your reluctance was irrational. There wasn’t a great spatula shortage of 2018 resulting in a new batch of spatula buying. It was an irrational fear created by your caveman brain that is wired to collect things even to its own detriment (that detriment being the stress and waste caused by a cluttered area).  It’s like my fear that if I don’t have a new car my neighbours will think less of me. Totally irrational bullshit.

When starting small, don’t get discouraged if you don’t see progress right away. A lot of people will give up “better” because they can’t get to “perfect”.  Better, no matter by how much, is still better. The key is to keep going. Small wins will accumulate.

If you are going to start small, then start small with your own stuff.  This takes the SO reluctance completely out of the equation.  My spouse was crazy against this, now she’s fully on board.  Starting this way was key after I figured out that the arguments were never going to work. (Hint: when I proudly announced “honey, from now on our family are minimalists, let’s get rid of 70% of our stuff! It wasn’t the best way to start my project.  I wish I could describe the look on her face.)

One trick we used a lot of is what was said above - put the questionable items into a box and put it somewhere else for a few months.  While my wife would not agree to get rid of something, she would agree to do this.  Then, in six to nine months, I’d ask her what was in the box and if she couldn’t remember then obviously it wasn’t needed and she’d be good with getting rid of it.  Maybe a half dozen times we rescued something from the box and reintroduced it into our house. That’s totally allowed. But I can not describe to you how much easier it is psychologically to get rid of an item when it’s in a box in the garage conpared to getting rid of something from your living room.  For us we had pretty much a two stage proceess for the things we were “clinging” to a bit. From the living area of the house to the garage. And then from the garage to the donation centre (my one regret is that I didn’t sell as much stuff as I could have - I just wanted it gone so gave it away. I could have made a good chunk of change selling it. Ah well. Lesson learned)

Another major barrier we hit was the thinking that getting rid of something that was “still good”, even if we never used it, was a waste of money. It took a while to realize that getting rid of an unused item is not a waste of money - buying it was. And keeping an unused item can never correct that original mistake and does not recoup the cost, and there IS a cost to keeping things - your space is valuable and so is your time and piece of mind. Clutter robs you of that, it is constantly stealing from you.  The mistake of buying the thing was already made, you can’t undo it, so cut your losses and get rid of it.  Understanding this was key for me in eliminating my desire for more purchases. Now I think long and hard about what deserves a place in my home and the result is FAR less buying.

Now, will there be times that you’ll go to get something that you got rid of and you’ll be pissed off?  Yes, that will happen. But not nearly as often as you’d think.  And when it does happen, you’ll find that 99% of the time you can easily find a work around in order to make due without the thing or you can borrow one from a friend easily enough.  We actually had the “should we keep the crib” argument and my wife wanted to in case company came who had a baby.  We got rid of the crib at my insistance. Company came and we needed the damn thing.  It took half an hour to find one we could borrow. Problem solved. Added bonus here - it had never occurred to me that if needed something I shouldn’t just go out and buy it. After all, if I needed it once I might need it again, so I better own one. Now, making due without or borrowing are my go-to moves instead of buying.  This was a fundamental shift in thinking for me.  Out of the thousands of items I’ve gotten rid of, there is only ONE that I had to repurchase (a calculator that we had that my daughter could have used for school). That’s it.  Even if we did  have to repurchase a few items, the money I saved by fundamentally changing my consumerist habits FAR exceeded it.  I swear that the advertisers sell us a life where everything we could ever need is at our fingertips.  What a bunch of bullshit.

Finally,a  70% reduction may not be right for you and your family. And that’s totally okay.  Everyone is different and you need to find what works for you - but what is clear is that what you got going on right now isn’t working for you. You will never in a million years find a cleaning and organizing solution to a clutter problem.  That’s like trying to borrow your way out of spending problem. Solve the real issue, not the symptom of the issue.

There is a ton of great information on the web on minimalism and escaping clutter.  There are a ton of different ways to approach the issue, and you can find one that works for your family. 

Now, today’s project was to go through the accumulating artwork, so time to get at it.   

Good luck!




Hula Hoop

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2018, 08:06:34 AM »
I think some people just have an awful lot of stuff!

I don't get rid of things that I only use occasionally, but they aren't clutter because I have a place to store them until needed.

My kids had loads of toys, but we only bought toys for birthdays and Christmas. We looked for things with long term play value, and when they were done, some stuff we got rid of, and some stuff we stored away and really have passed on to the grandkid. (That marble run is just as cool today as it was 25 years ago!)

But I think that people who love to shop and buy lots of "new" things have to be prepared to give up the old stuff. One end or the other has to give.

Well, exactly.  We're both frugal mustachians by nature so we don't have that much stuff compared to some people i guess.  For example, I spilled ice cream all over my jeans yesterday so had to put them in the wash.  My other pair of jeans was also in the wash so I reached into the back of the closet and got my old but still kind of ok jeans and I'm wearing them now.  I'm really glad I didn't just chuck them since I wear them so seldom.

Also - do you literally chuck spatulas into the trash?  That seems very environmentally unfriendly. Or do you go to the trouble of taking a bunch of used spatulas to a charity store?

red_pill

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #25 on: May 06, 2018, 08:13:33 AM »
We threw very little in the garbage. Most went to the donation centre.   Even if I did chuck stuff, I didn’t beat myself up over it. The majority of environmental impact is not in the disposal of the item, it was in the manufacturing of it, which was enabled by my purchasing it.  The mistake had already been made, and moving forward I just buy way less stuff.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 08:16:05 AM by red_pill »

Roadrunner53

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2018, 08:35:10 AM »
I owned a timeshare for many years...yes you can face punch me. No longer have it but did for over 25 years. Anyway, they have the kitchen set up kind of perfectly. The one I owned could sleep six so there was six dinner plates, six salad bowls, six dessert dishes, six wine glasses, six water glasses, six juice glasses. Same with the silverware. Then the minimum pots, pans, spaghetti drainer, fry pan. Then there were just enough large serving spoons, carving knives, spatula's. This stuff could fit in one drawer with plenty of room for more. Unlike my drawers that are jam packed full.

So, if you decided to cook, you only had so much stuff and if you ran out, you had to wash it up and use it again. There were no 25 serving spoons or 25 knives or 25 pots or pans.

I am the 25 pots, pans, knives, etc person. But would prefer to have less...


former player

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2018, 08:37:47 AM »
Also - do you literally chuck spatulas into the trash?  That seems very environmentally unfriendly. Or do you go to the trouble of taking a bunch of used spatulas to a charity store?
When I had to empty the house of a deceased relative I found that my local women's refuge took a lot of the household stuff, from kitchen items to cleaning and laundry items to bedding.  What they can't use in the refuge they use as starter packs for women moving on from the refuge to permanent housing.  If you ring up your local refuge they will arrange to meet you somewhere for a handover- you won't get the address of the refuge directly.

red_pill

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2018, 09:28:55 AM »

So, if you decided to cook, you only had so much stuff and if you ran out, you had to wash it up and use it again. There were no 25 serving spoons or 25 knives or 25 pots or pans.

I am the 25 pots, pans, knives, etc person. But would prefer to have less...

So why not have less if you would prefer it?
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 09:45:24 AM by red_pill »

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2018, 10:19:17 AM »
red-pill, working on it. I am a bit of a buy more than you need person and am starting to weed out and have been donating to Vietnam Vets. I gave them 13 bags of assorted household things and clothes about a month ago. I have much more to donate but for me it is a slow process. Right now to donate, I have a small laundry utility cart, a small floor file cabinet, an upright spot shampooer, a round laundry basket. I have a giant box of clothes. That is without even thinking about it.

We are a couple who built this house in 1975 and never moved. We have been married since 1973 and have accumulated tons of stuff. We have been donating and donating. We have had giant dumpsters several times and 1800 got junk to discard junk.

Just took 13 grocery bags of paperwork to a free shred event this week. Had Income tax returns from back to 1987. I saved only 7 years worth.

This coming week is the Postman food donation event on Saturday. So I will weed out some canned things for that.

I also had a large collection of culinary books and I donated them to a local culinary school recently.

I do want to weed out some of my cooking stuff, however, we do like to cook so I do like having extra stuff.

Still have LOTS to do!

red_pill

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2018, 12:07:37 PM »
red-pill, working on it. I am a bit of a buy more than you need person and am starting to weed out and have been donating to Vietnam Vets. I gave them 13 bags of assorted household things and clothes about a month ago. I have much more to donate but for me it is a slow process. Right now to donate, I have a small laundry utility cart, a small floor file cabinet, an upright spot shampooer, a round laundry basket. I have a giant box of clothes. That is without even thinking about it.

We are a couple who built this house in 1975 and never moved. We have been married since 1973 and have accumulated tons of stuff. We have been donating and donating. We have had giant dumpsters several times and 1800 got junk to discard junk.

Just took 13 grocery bags of paperwork to a free shred event this week. Had Income tax returns from back to 1987. I saved only 7 years worth.

This coming week is the Postman food donation event on Saturday. So I will weed out some canned things for that.

I also had a large collection of culinary books and I donated them to a local culinary school recently.

I do want to weed out some of my cooking stuff, however, we do like to cook so I do like having extra stuff.

Still have LOTS to do!


LOVE IT!  Great work.  Amazing how much stuff there is, isn’t it?  Every few months we do a purge and even though we are pretty careful with what comes in the door, it’s amazing what still does.

I’m worried about having to clean out my in laws place. They moved from a house to a small apartment and I’m pretty sure they kept everything.  Every closet is full full full.  There are so many pictures on the wall I’m not sure you could put your hand on the wall and not be touching one of them.  And then my MiL volunteers at a charity thrift shop and is always coming home with new treasures! We hate staying there when we visit.  I reallly don’t want to end up that way.

Cranky

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2018, 12:09:12 PM »
We remodeled the kitchen a few years ago, and I really pared down then - I sent a lot of stuff to the thrift store (which is where much of it came from in the first place) and I did actually chuck some stuff out.

Also, I've had two kids grow up, go to college, and set up houses, so they've taken a lot of my extras.

I've gotten rid of a lot of books over the last few years. There really isn't much on the main floor of the house that's superfluous at this point, but we are far FAR from minimalists.

The basement is definitely a work in progress, though. I have to be in just the right mood. This was the winter that I sorted through Christmas stuff.

nereo

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2018, 12:32:32 PM »
OP - you mentioned that your spouse grew up poor and consequentially hates to get rid of anything because someday it might be useful one more time (like the baby crib).
Another way to frame it is that there are people who need that crib far more than you. People like his family while he was growing up.

As for kids toys, my opinion is that more toys ≠ more happiness.

Good luck.

SunnyDays

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Re: Cleaning strategies
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2018, 01:34:23 PM »
This kind of echoes other posters' suggestions, but if your husband hates to "waste" things by getting rid of things, maybe reframe it for him.  It is wasteful for something useful to sit around unused, when someone else COULD use it.  The item is also wasting the space in your home that could be used for something else, either an item or an activity.  What is the item contributing to your life vs. detracting from it?  Most things these days are not so valuable that they cannot be easily replaced if needed.  In my mind, the only truly wasteful thing is to throw something useable in the garbage.  (By the way, kids the world over manage to sleep just fine without a crib. If they're that young, a pad and blankets on the floor are okay.)